Japanese Firm Unveils Underwater City Concept

December 2, 2014

A Japanese firm has unveiled ambitious plans for a deep-sea city called Ocean Spiral, which they said 5,000 people can live in, with the structure’s plans calling for energy to be produced from sea resources.

The concept of underwater living was first pioneered in Bermuda waters, with four aquanauts living undersea for over a week some fifty years ago, in what was a ground breaking experiment of that era.

ocean spiral underwater city Japan (4)

On July 22, 1964, four Navy divers – LCDR Robert Thompson, Gunners Mate First Class Lester Anderson, Chief Quartermaster Robert Barth, and Chief Hospital Corpsman Sanders Manning – submerged to a depth of 192 feet in Bermuda;s waters, and surfaced early on July 31, 1964 due to an impending tropical storm.

The aquanauts spent six hours a day working on Bermuda’s ocean floor, and as they were based in the ocean and did not have to travel to the surface and back, they completed tasks in a week that normally required a year with conventional divers.

Japanese construction company Shimizu Corp recently revealed the plans, saying the underwater living space would provide accommodation for 5,000 people and include research centers for excavating the seabed for energy resources.

ocean spiral underwater city Japan (2)

The sci-fi underwater concept is the work of several organizations, including Shimizu Corp, Tokyo University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

According to an artist’s rendering, the structure will be divided into three sections starting with a floating sphere with a diameter of 500 metres, located just beneath the surface of the sea for business, residential zones and hotels. The pod will be connected to a spiral path that travels down to the ocean floor some 3-4km below the surface.

ocean spiral underwater city Japan (1)

Shimizu spokesman Masataka Noguchi said, “This is just a blueprint by our company, but we are aiming to develop the technology that would enable us to build an underwater living space.”

Shimizu says the Ocean Spiral would cost three trillion yen [$25 billion], claiming that all the technology could be in place by 2030.

“This is a real goal, not a pipe dream,”  Shimizu spokesman Hideo Imamura told the Guardian. “The Astro Boy cartoon character had a mobile phone long before they were actually invented – in the same way, the technology and knowhow we need for this project will become available.”

Shimizu does not appear shy to unveil plans for ambitious projects, having previously released concepts for a lunar base, a hotel in space and floating botanical cities.

- Artist’s renderings courtesy of Shimizu Corp

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Comments (6)

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  1. Family Man says:

    I didn’t realise the plp had a Japanese office. Satellite business, deep sea mining and online gambling seems to fit nicely with these guys.

    “Shimizu does not appear shy to unveil plans for ambitious projects, having previously released concepts for a lunar base, a hotel in space and floating botanical cities.”

  2. puma says:

    Japanese are ahead of the game!…I have to say that this is also the future of sea traverse as well…ships will soon be designed to submerge in rough weather…to reamerge when danger has passed….even a moron will notice it is much calmer it is beneath the surface….but we should not think outside the box…conformity…kinda sad really…..and you hear a premier indicate he doesn’t approve of comments in a medium….and will do everything in hispower …this and that…ignoramus…

  3. Stunned... says:

    looks awesome. not sure if I am able to be content in an environment where the air I breathe is controlled by men and machinery.

  4. OH VEY! says:

    Probably a very very bad idea. Colossal Squid are REAL not imaginary, and they are the most powerful creatures on the planet, each of their huge 80ft or longer tentacles could rip buildings apart and destroy submarines which they would view as whales or prey. This is not imaginary it is real. Colossal Squids are known to reach 80ft, and these are only a few examples that have been found. Who knows what else is out there. Science believe it or not proved the existence of a colossal octopi whose carcass suggested the living creature could have reached 200ft arms out. Even if you discount the last creature, Colossal Squid are real, and its a very very bad idea. Their 2 to 4ft beaks would slice open metal like paper.
    Especially bad idea when the building proposed is a spiral flimsy shape!